About Cycling in Majorca

Posted on: April 15th, 2016 by admin No Comments

Spanien, Mallorca, Mann und Frau, Radfahren auf der Strae bei Cap de Formentor

 

About Cycling in Majorca

With is dazzling azure ocean, beautiful sandy beaches and dramatic mountain backdrops, Majorca offers some of the most picturesque scenery in the whole of Spain. People who want to explore the area at their own pace while getting fit and having fun will find that cycling is a great way to get around. There are lots of impressive cycle routes to choose from in Majorca and renting a bicycle is relatively easy. here are some things to think about if you are planning to go cycling in Majorca.

When to Try Cycling in Majorca
The winters in Majorca tend to be rather mild and this is a great time of year to try cycling. One of the best things about choosing to go cycling in the winter is that the roads as well as hotels and restaurants tend to be less crowded and visitors should be able to score some great deals as they explore using peddle power.

Choosing the Right Route
There are lots of different cycling routes in and around Majorca to suit all styles and fitness levels. It is worth doing a little research in advance to make sure you know exactly what you are getting into with these cycle routes and will be able to go the distance. Even experienced cyclists would probably do well to start off on gentler routes and work their way up to the more challenging cycles when they have got a feel for cycling in this part of the world.

The Best Cycling Routes
The cycling routes that you choose will depend on the type of cyclist you are, the length of the cycling trips you prefer and your general stamina. Some of the most popular cycling routes in this part of Spain include the route that runs from La Victoria to Alcudia, the enchanting Bahia de Pollensa cycling route the main route that runs along the coast from Porto Cristo to Cala Millor.

Staying Safe
It is important to take along plenty of water, as cycling in Majorca can be rather hot work, even in the winter. Consider wearing a brimmed hat in the summer months as well as plenty of sunscreen so that you don’t even up feeling the burn too much. Remember that people drive on the right hand side in Majorca and the rest of Spain and consider taking along a map or a Smartphone with a map app on it to help guide the way.

Walking in Majorca

Posted on: April 8th, 2016 by admin No Comments

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Walking Mallorca; the Mediterranean’s gem

From pristine coastline to magnificent mountain ranges, Mallorca’s natural beauty is fast attracting keen walkers, and finding its way onto the ‘to do’ list of many more. Still, though, Mallorca remains a largely undiscovered paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering quiet trails, great scenery and close contact with nature. Mallorca’s best known trails are concentrated in Mallorca’s two mountain ranges – the Serra de Llevant in the East, and the Tramuntana range in the West. These two unspoilt areas have avoided the trappings of mass tourism, protected not just by the nature of their terrain but also government protection including national park status.

Mallorca offers walking experiences for all abilities, from gentle town and village walks to longer distance hikes. For cliffs and coastal views, the ‘Atalaya de Alcudia’ route is hard to beat, beginning in S’illot on Mallorca’s Easterly coast, gaining height to reach the Atalaya from where spectacular views are possible, before descending to Bon Aire through pine forest. Another highlight of the East is the Cala Torta route to Cala Rajada; expect Mediterranean flowers and scents in Spring.

If it’s peaks you seek, the Sa Retata ridge is an unbeatable choice, with three in store on this circular route. The views are, naturally, panoramic, and offer particularly good views of the islands interior reservoirs. The first viewpoint, L’Ofre, is noted for it’s distinctive cone shape, from where the route continues to Na Francesca and the sparse Sa Retata. Too, the Pilgrim’s Steps walk to the Lluc Monastery offers height on what is Mallorca’s most popular walk. A monastery is also on the menu on the ‘Sa Trapa’ route from the South-Western village S’Aracco.

The list of fantastic walks and possibilities on Mallorca is endless, so it’s lucky Mallorca is a true all year round destination. With mild, only occasionally cold winters, a warm Spring and Summer, and a relatively dry Autumn, the time is always right in Mallorca. Plus, travelling off-season offers additional peace and tranquillity, quiet accommodation, and lower prices. Whilst car hire offers additional flexibility, good public transport (including Mallorca’s famous histoirc railways) means Mallorcan walks are remarkably easily accessible.

Learn 10 Simple Spanish Phrases Today

Posted on: March 23rd, 2016 by admin No Comments

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When you’re visiting a country like Spain, it can be a little daunting if you don’t speak the native language. If you don’t understand the most basic words, your vacation may not be as much fun. It’s a good idea to learn a few phrases in order to develop your conversational skills. Communicating with people in Spanish will certainly make your travel experiences more memorable and enjoyable. To get you started, here are the top 10 most popular Spanish phrases that every traveller should learn.

1. If you get lost somewhere, you will need to ask a local some simple questions. Always start with the question “¿dónde está?” (where is). Some of the most common examples include: “¿Dónde está la estación de ferrocarril?” (Where is the bus/train station?) “¿Dónde está un restaurante?” (Where is a restaurant?) “ ¿La calle ” (the street).

2. “¿Cuánto cuesta?” (How much does it cost? Or what is the price?)

3. “¿Qué hora es, por favor?” (What time is it, please?)

4. “Yo entiendo, yo no entiendo” (I understand/ I don’t understand)

5. “Yo quiero un boleto, un hotel, un taxi” (I want a ticket for a hotel, a taxi)

6. “Necesito ayuda”. (I need help)

7. “¡Buen viaje!” (Have a good vacation!)

8. “¡Lo siento!” (I am sorry!)

An alternative way to apologise is saying Perdón. This is a more common way of saying sorry, however, if you are looking for toilets, you can use this phrase “Perdón, pero dónde están los baños? (excuse me but where are the WCs?)

9. “¡No se preocupe!” (No worries!)

10. “hasta pronto” (See you soon)

The top 10 phrases are not just helpful but they’re also most commonly used in Spain. If you make an effort and speak with the native locals, they will appreciate your attempts at becoming part of their community. It won’t be long until you are ready to learn more words and phrases and improve your Spanish.

5 Affordable Spanish Wines You Need To Try

Posted on: March 16th, 2016 by admin No Comments

barrel of wine with grape cones

In the early days of package tours, Spanish wine was eagerly seized upon (literally!) as cheap booze, but of sometimes questionable quality. Its reputation has improved greatly since then, with regions being developed and old varieties of grape renewed all the time. The industry has been able to move considerably up-market, but it’s still possible to find plenty of choice available at a very modest price. Young wines are the cheapest but the more mature types are affordable too, with reds generally more favoured.

Tempranillo

Young varieties of this fruity wine, such as Rioja Crianza, are aged for less than a year. They are spicier than more mature versions and the ones produced in the central region are ideal for use in Sangria. Tempranillo that has been aged for a few years in oak and bottle is richer, and boasts a high tannin content.

Garnacha

Known as Grenache in France, this is actually a Spanish grape. A product of northern Spain, its fresh smooth taste makes it another suitable ingredient for Sangria, while fine Garnacha carries more complex flavours. Hillsides around Madrid still support old vines, but the variety is also blended with Syrah, Merlot, Cariñena and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Monastrell

The French wine Mourvèdre also has its past in Spain, where it’s called Monastrell, but the same grape exists in Australia and California as Mataro. Originating in the centre of the country and now its fourth most planted vine, it’s bold and intense with notes of blackberry and chocolate, smoky undertones and plenty of tannin.

Bobal

Another offering from central Spain, Bobal retains hints of herbs and violets, while its dark fruit flavours and high tannins are perfectly matched by a colour that is a deep shade of purple. The grape is native to the Utiel-Requena region of Valencia, where it constitutes 90% of all vines, and is the third most cultivated nationally. Its high acidity level increases its versatility, and it has been used for sparkling wine and for adding colour to rosé.

Mencía

Choose the floral aromas of Mencía for something lighter, not unlike a Burgundy or Beaujolais. Mostly grown in the north west of the country, with some areas blending it with local grapes like Bastardo, it’s very similar to a variety found in Portugal. Younger bottlings are lively and refreshing, while those matured in oak possess more gravitas. Like all the wines mentioned here, it’s easy to buy in the UK.

5 Reasons To See Majorca By Road

Posted on: February 10th, 2016 by admin No Comments

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Take the car and explore Majorca’s hidden gems

Hiring a car and going on a road trip is an exciting way to see the nooks and crannies of somewhere new. Take a road trip around Majorca and take in incredible views, artisan markets and quaint villages with traditional restaurants.

Spend time exploring Majorca by car and you can:

1. Shop at a street market. Manacor is on the east side of Majorca and is the second largest town on the island. It is well-known for pearls and there are factories where visitors can go on a tour and see the production of pearl jewellery from start to finish. Along the streets of Manacor, two weekly markets are held – a local food market is open every Monday and an artisan market takes place each Saturday.

2. Sit by an underground lake. Head towards the town of Porto Cristo and you will find Coves Del Drach, some of the most incredible caves in Europe. The lit walkways take you past stalactites and stalagmites and onto a lake where they play peaceful music in a unique atmosphere.

3. Witness breath taking views. A drive along the coast from Palma to Deia reveals dazzling vistas across the Mediterranean Sea and the rolling countryside. The road gets a little hairy in some places, but the rewards are worth it. Stop a while at Valldemossa which has a church with a spire and terraced hillsides. Continue further along the coastline and you will reach the tiny village of Deia which is a favourite spot for A-list movie stars who want to get away from it all. As you wander the twisting backstreets look out for famous faces hidden behind large-framed sunglasses.

4. Tuck into to something different. Stop at cafes, restaurants and bars which offer traditional Spanish dishes and local wine. There a many places to stop along the roadside where you will get to try something new. Choose a place to eat with wide views in the countryside or fresh seafood next to the Mediterranean.

5. Explore the Tramuntana Mountain range. Enjoy cooler air by car by driving the M10 through Lluc and onto the Bay of Alcudia. Along the way you can spot sheep, goats, almond trees and olive groves. This area is a favourite with hikers, so if you can park up, get out to take in the fresh mountain air.

Sailing in Majorca – Balearic Bliss

Posted on: February 3rd, 2016 by admin No Comments

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One of the best ways to see all of the beauty that Majorca has to offer is on a sailing trip. While relaxing on deck you can soak up the warm sun and view the island from a whole new perspective. Sailing round the coast will show you the true variety of landscapes found on Majorca, from palm-fringed beaches to bustling fishing ports, tiny coastal villages and towering cliffs. Day trips are an ideal way to sample some of these hidden delights, but yacht charters are also widely available if you’d like to spend more time out on the waves.

Majorca is well known for its stunning beaches, many of which are not easily accessible from inland. A sailing trip allows you to visit remote and hidden coves, so you can enjoy some peace and tranquillity away from the busy tourist areas. Cala Boquer, on the north-west coast, is one such spot – only accessible on foot or by boat.

If you enjoy a more active holiday, most sailing trips will offer opportunities for swimming and snorkelling. Other water activities, such as water-skiing and wakeboarding may also be available. Fishing is another popular option, with a wide variety of fish found in local waters – including giant swordfish and bluefin tuna, which pass through at the end of summer.

The position of the Balearic Islands means that Majorca enjoys ideal conditions for sailing much of the time, particularly during the summer months. Reliable breezes and sheltered coves make the island an excellent spot for beginner sailors to learn some new skills. Port de Pollenca, on the north-west coast, is well-known as an excellent spot for this.

A sailing trip is also a wonderful way to see more of the local wildlife. Dolphins are regular visitors to the surrounding waters and keen birdwatchers will enjoy spotting the many different sea birds found in the area. In the south-east of the island is Colonia St Jordi, where boats trips can be taken to the Cabrera Archipelago, a collection of 19 islands that form a national park where lots of great wildlife can be seen, both on land and in the water.

Sailing trips are widely available and set out from many different ports all around the island, so wherever you’re based there’s sure to be at least one within easy driving distance.

How Majorca Does Luxury Accommodation

Posted on: January 13th, 2016 by admin No Comments

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Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, but the beauty of this resort is that it’s small enough to discover in a day. There is a vast array of beaches, caves, and sweeping bays, from green mountains to cobbled villages. If you are looking for luxury accommodation on this island, you will be spoilt for choice. Here are some of the examples of the most luxurious places to stay the next time you visit this island.

The Son Julia boutique hotel
This luxury hotel is the perfect getaway set in an idyllic countryside. The 15th century mansion has many facilities to offer families and couples. You can enjoy a good workout in the gym or pamper yourself in the spa. There are also 2 golf courses situated a few minutes from the hotel as well as tennis courts and state-of-the-art bicycles.

Belmond La Residencia
This charming residence is just a stone’s throw from the clear blue Mediterranean Sea. The hotel dates back to 16th century and comes as two characterful manor houses. The rooms are furnished in traditional Spanish style, with floating curtains and elegant armchairs. The timber shutters overlook the green landscaped gardens, where guests and staff can pick fresh flowers and fruits every morning.

Castillo Hotel Son Vida
This luxury hotel is located between two golf courses, 4 swimming pools, and 3 tennis courts. There is also a spa for guests to indulge in. Each room offers open views across the mountains and there is a state-of-the-art TV, CD player, and free Internet connection. Moreover, the hotel’s staff is on call 24 hours a day, or you can opt for a butler for an extra fee. The studios are equipped with plush bathrobes, slippers, fresh fruit and flowers to make your stay unforgettable. To truly enjoy your time at this hotel, consider taking part in the relaxing activities such as the indoor pool, sauna, steam bath, and fitness centre. Select an invigorating massage and many other beauty treatments that are offered at the hotel’s own salon. There are also 4 refreshing outdoor pools to enjoy, while the nearby golf courses and tennis courts await you. This hotel offers professional guest services to assist daily, from making restaurant reservations to delivering flowers and booking excursions. This is truly one of the most luxurious accommodations that you will find in Mallorca.

Majorca’s Top 5 Indoor Attractions

Posted on: January 7th, 2016 by admin No Comments

night life in Majorca

When it comes to finding indoor activities on your holiday, Mallorca will not disappoint as it’s riddled with many adult and kid-friendly attractions. From culture to sports, there is something to suit everyone. For some holiday inspiration, check out our selection of top 5 indoor attractions in Mallorca.

Nassau Beach Club
This indoor restaurant and club is world class and highly sophisticated. There is an outdoor terrace too, where you can enjoy the scenic views across the beach. Nassau Beach thrives on an urban setting, with a stylish and quality venue that will please your whole family.

Indoor concerts
Listen to great music on the hot summer evenings at the indoor convert venues. The annual Deia International Music Festival is held every summer, with a series of concerts by the talented pianist and composer David Gomez.

Dinner shows
Mallorca is home to some of the best-known professional entertainers who regularly take the stage at dinner shows. There is also a pirates adventure show for children, with the most thrilling acrobats, comedians, and gymnasts. For over 18s, there is the late-night Pirates- the Mutiny show where tickets include drinks.

Jazz clubs
You can find some of the most excellent jazz clubs on this Spanish island. The Saratoga Hotel Jazz Club offers great views of the town, especially if you stay on top floor. Listen to the finest jazz played every weekend while drinking a glass of wine on your terrace. This club is furnished with large sofas and comfortable armchairs, where friendly waitresses serve a fine selection of wines and spirits throughout the evening.

Virtual Club
Virtual Club is situated in the southwest of the island. It is a classy venue where you can soak up the sun and sip on your cocktails. This club is open all day and night, with a bistro and a unique nightclub that looks like a cave located within the building. The VIP area of this club includes parasols and large comfortable hammocks where you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon snooze or a glass of champagne.

How the Spanish do Christmas

Posted on: December 2nd, 2015 by admin No Comments

Christmas Beach

Christmas in Spain takes place over a much longer period than in other countries. Heavily rooted in religious influence, the Christmas period, or ‘Pascuas’, ranges from December 24th to the 6th of January with Christian celebrations throughout.

December 24th is celebrated with a great family feast, usually a turkey stuffed with wild truffles, followed by the midnight mass service known as the ‘Misa del Gallo’. This Mass of the Rooster refers to the crowing of a rooster at the moment of Christ’s birth, and is followed by a triumphant musical parade through the streets accompanied by carols and traditional instruments, and a return to home.

Santa Claus has gained popularity as the main gift-giver for Christmas, but more local figures are still celebrated. In the mountainous Basque region, ‘Olentzero’ is a coal merchant who descends to leave presents for the good children, and coal for the naughty, while ‘Tio de Nadal’ performs a similar function in Catalonia and Aragon. Spain being such a large and culture-rich country, local differences abound.

After a slight lull, December 28th is celebrated as the ‘Dia de los Santos Inocentes’ (Day of the Innocent Saints), a day similar in style to April Fool’s Day. People attempt to trick each other with silly stories and jokes, with believers named as innocents. This day is inspired by the story of King Herod’s attempts to murder the infant Jesus.

The twelfth night of Christmas on January the 6th is a celebration that rivals Christmas Day in terms of extravagance. Epiphany or the ‘Fiesta de Los tres Reyes Mages’ (Festival of the three Magic Kings) celebrates the night when the famous three Kings brought presents to the baby Jesus. This is the main time for gift-giving, and on January 5th, children will leave drinks and food for the Kings in hopes of receiving a good haul in the morning. Each King has his own appearance and custom and will be shown on numerous parades across Spain on floats, riding their traditional camels. A special cake known as a Roscon will also usually be eaten on Epiphany morning, a ring-shaped roll containing sweet fillings and little gifts.

Majorca’s 5 Best-Kept Secrets

Posted on: November 24th, 2015 by admin No Comments

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With the arrival of winter, Majorca becomes an even more popular destination for those seeking winter sun. Its popular location in the Mediterranean means tourists fill the beaches and coastline all year round. There are however still some hidden gems that haven’t been explored by many visitors. Here are Majorca’s top 5 best-kept secrets.

1. Port des Canonge

Port des Canonge is an enclave that’s secluded by nature. This small beach is fully accessible if you take the road from Tramuntana. Although Port des Canonge is protected and full of fishing boats, it is still the perfect place for a quick dip in the sea. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, consider taking a pony ride along the shores of this beautiful and peaceful beach.

2. Betlem, Bays and Escars

Betlem is a village where many locals own second homes with a low number of tourists visiting this coastal resort. The little stone bays with their odd shapes have managed to withstand many years of neglect, but this is still a great place to go for a swim. Your family will love hiking towards Escars, where they will come across the magnificent views of Betlem Chapel.

3. Coll Baix

Coll Baix is located on the northern coast of Majorca and is quite inaccessible on foot. However, this place is still worth the effort to visit as you can access the beach via Carrer Eclipsi. If you have hired a car, drive to the end of the road where you can park and walk the rest of the way. There are signs that lead the way so just follow the path and around half a mile, you’ll reach your Coll Baix. This deserted beach with clear blue waters has stunning scenery at any time of the year.

4. Arenal de ses Assussenes

The Arenal de ses Assussenes beach is not only sandy but it is also a historical site. Its ruins are scattered all over the resort, reminding visitors of Majorca’s pre-historic past. The most convenient way to reach this unique spot is to drive to Son Baulo beach and then walk the rest of the way.

5. Es Caló

At Es Calo, you can enjoy a swim in the clear waters of this cove with stunning mountain views all around you. This is the perfect spot to dive, as its waters are filled with interesting rock formations and marine life. The only catch is that you have to drive to Cala Mata (which is 1 mile east) and then walk a further 2 miles along the coast.